Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Happy Deepavali!!!

May this festival of light brings peace and prosperity to you and your family! Happy Deepavali!! And Happy Holiday!!!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

MPOV: The Shell Seekers

My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.13/5
Originally published: 1987
Author: Rosamunde Pilcher
Genre: Fiction, romance

The Shell Seekers is a novel of connection: of one family, and of the passions and heartbreak that have held them together for three generations. The Shell Seekers is filled with real people--mothers and daughters, husband and lovers--inspired with real values. The Shell Seekers centers on Penelope Keeling--a woman you'll always remember in world you'll never forget. The Shell Seekers is a magical novel, the kind of reading experience that comes along only once in a long while.

At the end of a long and useful life, Penelope Keeling's prized possession is The Shell Seekers, painted by her father, and symbolizing her unconventional life, from bohemian childhood to wartime romance. When her grown children learn their grandfather's work is now worth a fortune, each has an idea as to what Penelope should do. But as she recalls the passions, tragedies, and secrets of her life, she knows there is only one answer...and it lies in her heart.

The above taken from Goodreads.

Firstly, it was a pact made via the book club I was in where we have pledged to read a big book from this month and to finish it by March 2018. So I have actually pledged 2 big books for The KLBAC Big Book Challenge i.e. 1) The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher and 2) American Gods by Neil Gaiman.
As American Gods is a hardcover, it's my secondary book to finish at home :-)

So my main read is The Shell Seekers and surprisingly, it's a damn good book! So engaging that I've finished it so soon! This is my first Rosamunde Pilcher's and I was delighted it's written so efficiently, so well plotted plus so entertaining! From the start to the end, apart from some lengthy fillers at times, the prose is precise and the plots relevant.

The story revolves around Penelope Keeling from when she was young to the day she died, how her children had evolved around her and how she managed to move on with life after a heart attack. It's quite interesting as Penelope was blessed to have Antonia and Danus with her through her last few months, making her life more accomplished, memorable and worthwhile.

My take on Penelope's children:
Nancy - the materialistic one
Olivia - the workaholic one
Neal - the greedy one

Though it had me at Diva channel's mini series, I can so imagine who is who as it's so precisely elaborated! I liked how Rosamunde has named each chapter after a character who will be storied in it. Such interesting method and yet flowing so fluidly even for a family drama about money, love and tragedy. It may be predictable at some point but it will be a surprise in the end. The best part, the story comes in full circle where it has a closure... the ending doesn't leave me hanging!

I am now looking forward to read her other books as I love such feel good completed endings! Some of the quotes which caught my attention:
"A lazy master makes a lazy servant"

Antonia's thought of her dad, Cosmo:
"My only real sadness is the years that were wasted after Olivia went. He never had another woman. He loved Olivia very much. I think, probably, she was the love of his life."

Richard Lomax's love letter sign off to Penelope Stern:
"So part of you goes everywhere with me. And part of me is yours forever. My love, my darling."

A boo boo typo? from page 324:
'I haven't had my breadfast yet, but as soon as I have I'll come and give you a hand.'

Some new words:
Diocese: a district under the pastoral care of a bishop in the Christian Church
Anachronism: a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old fashioned
Umbrage: offence or annoyance
Penurious: extremely poor; poverty-stricken
Secateurs: a pair of pruning clippers for use with one hand
Junketings: attend or go on a trip or celebration at public expense
Ephemeral: lasting for a very short time

Monday, 9 October 2017

I have decided not to renew my Popular card and here is the reason why...

After some long thoughts, I've decided to share an unfortunate incident that happened to me, costing me RM10 during the recent Popular Mega Bookfair at SPCC. Though RM10 is not a lot of money for some of you but it is for me... especially the way my incident was handled. This post will also be a reminder for me, not to waste that RM12 renewal fee in the future.

Here's what happened:
I was at the cashier when she asked for my Popular card. While I was searching for it, she was kind enough to check if my purchases warranted the card. If not then she'll just scanned my Sunway card. Yep, I have both Popular and Sunway cards upon which the kind cashier explained I could only used one and not the other i.e. I can't collect points via Sunway card if I had used the Popular card. So after checking via her POS, she said I could just used the Sunway card as nothing required my Popular card according to her POS. After paying, she had asked us to go to another counter to scan my Sunway card for points collection (I was like huh???) and to collect some vouchers.

While walking over, I was checking my receipt and then realised I was charged extra RM10 for this book:
Member price RM24.90 but RM34.90 in my receipt
I retreated back and wanted to ask the cashier but she was busy with another customer. There were 2 women beside her counter (whom I assumed were the PIC's as they were also in uniform with walkie talkie) approached me and I told them about this. Instead of helping me, after realising what has happened, they acted nonchalantly and told me that the Popular card was not scanned which was why the extra RM10. So I asked them how to go about it but they sort of dismissed me as a deranged, unfortunate customer and concluded our conversation. At this point, hubby was really annoyed too with their attitude and urged me to move on as they obviously don't care and didn't seemed to be bothered about it.

I was appalled by their behaviour! I may not be a huge spender buying in thousands but I still deserved to be served kindly! I lost RM10 just like that! Though I have gotten some RM30 vouchers (hubby comforted me... indirectly they have compensated me lah) but I didn't get to use it in the end! What with all their bull T&C's! So what's the point then??? Wasting more tree barks!!!
Expired and discarded without thanks!
I've only discovered after that I could have used my Popular card at the cashier (whether or not my purchases required it) and still redeemed the Sunway points at the point collection counter when I shared this incident with my book club members. Apparently, point collection was allowed regardless so I was the idiot lah... not cunning enough?!!! Or I shouldn't have listened to the cashier?!!!

Honestly Popular, next time if you want to do a bookfair at Sunway again, please ensure that the cashiers except only Popular card and customers with Sunway Pals be directed to the point collection counter after payment. Why the need to scan at the cashier when it will be scanned again at another counter??? Do not confuse either party with unnecessary rules or what nots! Also, please appoint a PIC with a good clear conscience who can make decisions and not disregard the customers! Lastly, if you want to reward your customers with vouchers, please reward with an open heart!!! So many vouchers with T&C's, in the end also pointless as all have been discarded! Many members from the book club also shared the same sentiment!

A recap just in case:
- cashier scan Popular card and customer collects Sunway points at collection counter - no need to double scan
- appoint PIC who can make decisions and not waived off customers
- reward vouchers with an open heart - if not, just save the papers and not reward at all!

Since my Popular card is underutilised, I have decided not to renew it anymore. Pointless since being a member yet not given the member price. Might as well be a non-member and I won't be ranting here now! Lesson learnt the hard way!!!

Friday, 6 October 2017

CSM: MDDB Sponsor A Rescued Pooch Programme

Here's another way you can support Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better:
For more details, please click on the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/MDDBFurkidSponsorship/

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Thank you Our Shared Shelf!!!

I am so happy to discover that I have won a copy of Hunger by Roxanne Gay! It was a giveaway organised by Our Shared Shelf Group in Goodreads in lieu of Emma Watson's book to read for September/October. I am so grateful for this and I can't wait to receive it in 2 to 3 weeks time!

Here are the excerpts from the contest for my future reference:


Thank you so much and congratulations to the other winners!!!

P/S: I've just realised I'm the only winner from Malaysia! O.O How cool is that?!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

MPOV: Uni-V Skin Care

I have always been looking for the right skin care for my freckled, wrinkled and dry skin as I am not getting any younger LOL! So when I was approached recently to try out this new skin care brand in the market, I quickly grabbed the opportunity! Thank you Uni-V!

Currently, Uni-V Skin Care has 2 products in the market namely Essence Spray and Jelly Mask. This 2 products can be used over our daily skin care regime and the best part, both products smell so nice! I have started using it on October 1st, 2017 so I will provide an in-depth for each product at a later post. So please keep a lookout for it!
Uni-V: Unleash your beauty within

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

MPOV: Animal Farm

My rating: 2/5
Goodreads rating: 3.87/5
Author: George Orwell
Originally published: August 17, 1945
Genre: political satire

Mr. Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organized to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges.

The above taken from Goodreads.

I felt like I was reading an elementary text book about politics in general hence my low rating. It is definitely an easy read especially for anyone who wants to understand more of communism and how to run a government albeit in animal form. Very well laid out and straightforward, nothing complicated and written with clarity.

From the Rebellion to the Beasts of England, from the loyal citizens to the power hungry and shrewd politicians, George Orwell has depicted very well of the political frenzy, apparently of the Russian Revolution and Stalin, but seemingly relevant in the current world too. Though a novella, it does packed a punch. Also, now I know why they have pigs on most covers of this book LOL!

I did expect the ending to be different - such as the animals finally rebelled against the pigs or the humans finally fought back the farm. Unfortunately, it just ended as it is with the pigs leading the farm and ganged up with the humans, leaving the rest of the animals to be lower caste citizens working their ass off. The below paragraph from the last page says it all:

"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which."

Dissentients - in opposition to a majority or official opinion
Indefatigable - a person of their efforts persisting tirelessly
Forsook - forsake
Inebriates - make someone drunk; intoxicate

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